AlphaPet was established by Richard Edwards MRCVS, Sandra Leatherdale VN and Katie Rook MRCVS in September 1993.
Having been working for a vets in Chichester for around 18 months, Richard and Sandra had already fallen in love with this part of West Sussex, so they decided to set up their own clinic to allow them to practice veterinary medicine and surgery the way they felt is should be practiced.
At the time, Norman Tebbit was telling everyone to get on their bikes and go and find work so Richard, being a keen cyclist, got on his bike and travelled around the area looking for suitable premises to site a veterinary practice. A good few miles later, he found West Meads Shopping Precinct and a disused video shop which seemed just right with all the free car parking outside the back door!
Around the same time, a friend mentioned that a disused chicken shed at Birdham might also be suitable for conversion which happened to be just around the corner from where Katie Rook lived!
So, after 3 months of frantic conversion work, AlphaPet West Meads opened its doors on 12th September 1993 and AlphaPet Birdham opened its doors a week later!
We were obviously doing something right because we grew rapidly and took on more staff - vets and nurses.
In January 2002, we purchased Kingley Veterinary Centre situated just to the north of Chichester.
In 1998, Doug Alexander MRVS became a Partner and Paul Irvine-Smith also became a Partner in 2004.
In April 2008, Katie Rook retired as a partner and left us for a while but is now back working as a vet on a part-time basis which has been great news for everyone at AlphaPet. Then, in April 2016, Paul Irvine-Smith also retired from the practice.
In 2016, we achieved The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Veterinary Hospital Accreditation for our main surgery in Bognor Regis making us the only local accredited veterinary hospital.
Each of our other two surgeries have also been accredited by the RCVS and the whole practice has achieved the Investors in People Award.
Despite AlphaPet’s rapid growth, we still manage to maintain the personal approach which forms the basis of our success.